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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Nick from the Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers were a US boy band made up from Nick, Joe and Keven. 

Nick sang vocals and played guitar and drums for the band. He was diagnosed in 2005 when he was 14, but it was during a US performance in the spring of 2007 that he spoke openly about having Type 1 diabetes.

 

Speaking about diabetes

After the opening song, he asked for a show of hands of people in the audience with diabetes. He then raised his own hand to acknowledge, for the first time in public, that he had Type 1 diabetes.

Nick mentions how one particular warning sign which was changes in his moods was especially difficult to deal with. This was because he and the band were on tour at the time.

"I had a terrible attitude, which was odd for me because I'm actually a happy person. Being on the road around people all the time, you have to keep that positive attitude going. And it was hard."

Early frustrations

Nick treated himself with multiple injections at first, and was testing about 12 times a day. This the regime didn't fit well with life as a musician and made testing hard.

"When we were on the road, I'd be in the back trying to give insulin shots and manage my diabetes, and it was just too hard. I was getting frustrated. I knew that I needed something different."

His something different turned out to be a new type of insulin pump, made by OmniPod. The pump is a patch pump, which means it sits on the body without any tubing. 

Nick admits that, when he was diagnosed, he initially thought "Why me?" But then something clicked and he realised he might be able to help other kids with diabetes.

"I was worried at first that diabetes would keep me from performing and recording and doing everything a teenager does. But my career was really ramping up."

"I want to let kids know that it doesn't have to be so hard. The most important thing is to never ever let yourself get down about having diabetes because you can still have a really great life."

He says he wants to be involved with the diabetes community and it would seem he has a special place in his heart for his fans with diabetes. He carries guitar picks in his pocket and says, "Whenever I meet another diabetic buddy, as I call them, I give them a pick, it's cool little thing."

 

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